Sunday, 4 January 2009

Early riser

There are some drawbacks to being an aspiring domestic goddess. Bearing in mind that this morning was the last 'day off' before K goes back to work, and therefor my last opportunity in a long time to get a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning, I don't know what possessed me to want to make apple kuchen for breakfast. Serves me right, I should know by now that the way Nigella lives is pure fantasy, but anyway set to work on the dough before bed last night. I really miss my breadmaker, just set the timer and wake up to warm, fresh bread. But was very pleased to learn that you can prove a yeast dough in the fridge overnight, leaving just a little work for the morning to be rewarded with something special for breakfast. That was the plan. I hadn't taken into account that M has decided that sleeping is for wimps and requires an audience for 'inai inai bah!' at all hours. I don't think I managed to get any sleep until K went downstairs with the boys shortly after 7am (Super Hero time!), but then I had to drag myself out of bed at 8am to finish off that which I had started. It was either that, or they could just have cornflakes - but hey, I'd kneaded that dough by my own fair hands and I was not about to let it go to waste! An hour later and the house smelled just as a house should smell on a Sunday morning:

All that was missing from the table this morning was some fresh orange juice (argh, I should have thought of that) and a Sunday Paper. I must point out that this dish is presented to you on a beautiful mat made by my very, very cute friend Hiroko!

Apple Kuchen


350g strong white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g caster sugar
3 1/2g easy-blend yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of half a lemon (I thought I'd got one, but ended up using mikan zest instead!)
125ml milk, lukewarm
50g unsalted butter, softened


1 egg
1 tablespoon cream (if you have some, I used milk)
2 apples
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons flaked almonds (I didn't use these because of J, don't like to take a chance with the hospitals being closed on Sundays!)


75g icing sugar, sieved
1 tablespoon hot water

Put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the milk with the zest and vanilla. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix to form a dough. Work in the soft butter and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Cover with a teatowel and leave in a warm place for about an hour (or in the fridge overnight) until doubled in size. Punch down and press into a tin or dish (about 20cm x 30cm), and leave to prove for another 20 minutes.
Beat the egg and cream together and brush over the dough. Peel, core and chop the apples finely and spread over the dough. Mix the sugars with the allspice and sprinkle over the top, finishing with the almonds. Bake at 200c for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180c and bake for about 15 minutes more.
Mix the icing sugar with the hot water to make a runny paste, then drizzle it over the kuchen as soon as it comes out of the oven. Be warned, it is easy to eat more of this than you really should.

I'm really going to have to finish now - I've just run a spell check and the number of typos was shocking. I blame the lack of sleep. It's nothing to do with the large G & T next to me.

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